Thursday, October 29, 2015

Garden design dreams vs reality

The problem with knowing exactly what you want is -
you can't always get what you want.

But to paraphrase Mick and his mates......... if I keep trying, I might just get what I need.

After many thinks and re-thinks and drawings and discussions about how the garden should be set out, we have (sort of) finalised the planning.  While the basic elements have remained the same I would never have guessed there could be so many permutations of a simple garden plan in such a small space.
Just a sample - I threw out most of our sketches

Putting the plans into action is fun but also challenging.

I've been frustrated to discovered during my plant hunting that certain plants I thought would be easy to find are just not available. I don't remember it being so hard to find plants when we started Missy's Garden, but maybe I wasn't as fussy either.
Some plants are only sold at the time of year when they are at their peak and some are obviously not the fashion this year. At quite a few nurseries I've visited, instead of being a point of difference to the large chain stores, they are copying them and only selling currently trendy mass-produced plants.
I did have one very good surprise at our local Masters however.  In the palm section, they'd priced their plants by pot size. All the smaller pots one price, all the larger twice the price. I came home with a few bargains including a bamboo palm, a blue cane and a hybrid lipstick palm.

The lipstick palm Cyrtostachys renda is a true tropical and drops dead when temperatures drop. I've been reading for a while that the hybrids they've developed seem to be standing up to South East Queensland's winters but any plants I'd found (until now) were very expensive.  Last winter our minimum never got below 10C so I took the chance.  I may keep it in a pot for a couple of years and bring it inside if temperatures look like falling. (If Mark and Gaz can move so many pots surely I can move one)

We have made some progress.

I've started a herb garden. All in pots for now.
the beginnings of our vegie patch. More to come.
One tomato plant, but already fruiting.

A potted lemon tree
Along the side fence it is actually starting to look like we have a garden. Some are planted. Some are still in pots waiting there until their permanent home is ready. It's amazing how fast they are growing at the moment.
There are still quite a few plants we brought from Missy's garden waiting
Not so much progress yet along the back fence. We are still preparing the soil. Once the "black gold" is added it will be ready for planting. We've created a mini-shade house down in the corner to protect shade-lovers until they're are ready to be planted.
John has built a screen for some added privacy and to shelter the barbeque area. The garden side will have pots and planter boxes covering it - a vertical garden. He's already put Cousin It in pride of place and bought a variety of seedlings.
He chose plants that tend to cascade over the edge of the pots, so it should look great.
We've also brought the garden inside with a few indoor plants.
So even though the plans keep changing
and I've been getting a wee bit frustrated with it all,
things are progressing.


  1. What a darn pity that the plant nurseries are following the big stores with their plant availability...we depend on them to be different...gosh that's very frustrating...I feel your pain.
    I can tell you that I find most of my "different" plants at flea markets and fairs when gardeners bring cuttings for those are great bargains.
    I also stop and ask homeowners or their gardeners for a cutting (or two) of a plant that I see in their garden, invariably the answer is yes.
    You are VERY lucky to have John...once again he has made an incredible wooden garden structure that I adore....I can see it filled with overflowing pots of flowers.
    Your new palms look very interesting especially the lipstick palm which is VERY expensive here..I've been trying to source one of these for eons for my Palm Alley.
    Yes things are of luck of you continue planning and planting your new garden...forgot to say that I also like your crayoned coloured garden

  2. Vegie garden looks great! You've made great progress and it's all coming together nicely.


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